5 Key Signs That Your Diesel Car Needs To Be Serviced

When it comes to most diesel vehicles, the recommended service period is every 5,000 km or 6 months, whichever comes first. However, this service interval can differ quite significantly depending on the make and model of your car, as well as how much you drive on a regular basis. More of a city driver? Driving short distances on a regular basis can cause the oil in diesel cars to accumulate gunk or other contaminants. This means you may need more frequent oil changes than your highway and long journey driving counterparts. It can be tricky to determine when to bring your car in for servicing. So to make that thought process a little simpler; here are 5 key signs that your diesel car needs to be serviced.

  1. Hard Starting

If you’re experiencing a difficult or delayed time starting your engine, this can be a sign of low compression or a fuel delivery issue. It is perfectly normal for some diesel engines to crank a little when you start them, with the usual crank time being 3 to 5 seconds. This is the time it takes the common-rail pump to build enough fuel pressure. However, if crank times are unusually long or the engine is extremely difficult to start, then this is an indication that you should get your diesel vehicle checked.

  1. Blowing Smoke

Another important thing to watch out for is smoke coming out of the exhaust. There are three colours of smoke that you need to look out for; black, blue and white and they may come with an unpleasant odour. These emissions can signal a faulty injector, injector pump,blocked air filter, or some other problem with the engine or sub-system. If the smoke has been blowing for a extended period of time, it is highly recommended if not essential to service or at least have your vehicle checked for any issues that can lead to more serious damage and expense.

  1. Lack of Performance

Having issues with starting or acceleration? This could indicate low fuel pressure, dirty fuel filters, and/or a more serious issue with another engine sub-system. If your diesel vehicle is notably lacking power, it is best to bring it in for a service. Your vehicle can be tested on a dynamometer to determine the actual power at the wheels and compare this to what it should be delivering.

  1. Knocking

At its best, diesel engine knocking can be a sign of the engine’s age, with no significant problems. But at its worst, it can indicate fuel contamination and faulty diesel injectors which affects compression balance and reduces performance. If you notice inconsistent noises or distinct knocking in the engine, make sure to get it checked out before the problem becomes more serious.

  1. Rough Running

Rough running in old diesel engines can be quite common and can signify a defective glow plug or compromised fuel injection system. Glow plugs heat the fuel-air mixture assisting the ignition process when the engine is cold. A faulty glow plug or glow plugs can cause hard to starting and rough running until the engine gets up to operating temperature.

The best way to ensure your diesel cars are in optimal shape is to have regular check ups and services. And if you are ever in need of specialised fuel injection and turbo services, visit Cornell Diesel Systems at www.cornells.com.au or contact us on (03) 9267 8800.